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Facebook is using nude photos to prevent the spread of nude photos

A new effort to combat revenge porn on Facebook encourages users to ... send nude photos.

In April, Facebook announced an algorithm that uses one sample photo to identify similar photos and remove them from the social media platform. That algorithm is now being put into practice to help users remove photos that were shared without their consent. Here's the catch: Facebook needs to have a nude photo to recognize and delete a nude photo.

Facebook is thus encouraging users to send their intimate snapshots to themselves via the company's Messenger app, to enable the company to use its image-matching technology as a protective measure. CNBC reports Facebook's anti-revenge porn pilot program is available in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. Australia's eSafety Office additionally announced a partnership with Facebook using this algorithm earlier this month.

Facebook is using algorithms to address issues outside of revenge porn, too: The company recently concluded a trial to prevent the spread of fake news on social media after pledging to address the issue in August, the BBC reports. Facebook's algorithm elevated comments like "fake news" to the top of feeds on shared articles — but the plan backfired when "fake news" appeared at the top of comment sections on articles from reputable news sites like The New York Times, BBC, and The Guardian.